Episode #446

How to Navigate Difficult Situations as a Speaker

With Rick Clemons

Speaking is full of surprises. Even if you’re equipped with the best business plan, vision, and work ethic, things don’t always go as planned. Knowing how to handle tricky situations is something that comes with experience, but there are many steps you can take to shore up your speaking business against pitfalls. While there’s no reason to dwell on worst case scenarios, it’s valuable to have a game plan or safety net when it comes to potential problems. Fortunately, our TSL coaches have guided thousands of speakers through these strategies. For episode 446 of The Speaker Lab podcast, our director of student success Maryalice Goldsmith and coach Rick Clemons share how to avert–or at least ameliorate–potential disasters in your speaking business. 

Clients are perhaps the most typical yet unpredictable source of tricky situations. Whether it’s a misunderstanding about the speaking topic, payment timeline, event schedule, or intellectual property, even the most well-meaning client can cause a miscommunication. Once you realize early on which events are a poor fit for your mission and recognize the red flags of a shady contract, you will save yourself and your clients time and energy. Doing your due diligence on potential clients–including reading all the fine print and reviewing your own contract terms–is essential. This can seem like a momentous task, but Rick and Maryalice break it down into manageable action items that you can start implementing today. From designing a contract, to consulting an attorney, to hiring your first employee, our coaches have every step of building your speaking business covered!

As we reiterate time and time again, the key to getting this right is having systems in place. This coaches’ corner show is sure to get you thinking about how you can systematize your speaking business to keep it running smoothly for years and even decades down the line.

You’ll also learn all about: 

  • Polite and supportive ways to decline a gig and recommend alternative speakers.
  • How to decide if an iffy client is worth compromising for.
  • How to roll with the punches when you can’t avoid a last-minute setback.
  • How to navigate money conversations and secure deposits early on.
  • Why having an attorney look over your contracts is the best investment you’ll ever make.
  • Why overcommunication is key (and how it can save your business). 
  • Which processes to document before you hire employees (hint: all of them).
  • …and so much more!

Want to know exactly how to find and book more paid speaking gigs?

Download our 18-page guide to the 6 proven steps you can use to book more paid speaking gigs in 2024!

About Rick Clemons

Rick Clemons is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) specializing in marketing/branding, story creation, stagecraft, web design, biz strategy, copywriting, and systems design. His inspiring, cut-to-the chase talks inspire global audiences – college and university students, entrepreneurs, small business owners, LGBTQ community, and men’s groups –  to dump their excuses, face their fears, and live their unapologetic lives. He is a TEDx Speaker, world record holder, and BPS Elite Graduate.

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